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House Committee Commends Seme Customs Command

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The House of Representative committee on customs has commended the Seme Badagry Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the pace of development, anti smuggling activities and revenue drive that is taking place in the area command.

The commendation was given when members of the house committee paid a recent visit to the command in Lagos as part of its oversight functions.

Honourable Sabo Muhammed Nakudu, chairman of the committee explained that their visit to the area command was in fulfilment of their constitutional assignment to monitor ongoing projects.

He said, the committee noted with keen interest, development, peace and community relationship between the organisation and its host communities.

Leader and chairman of the committee, Hon. Nakudu, advised the management of the command to ensure that it maintained the culture of abiding by the laid down rules and regulations.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Acting Controller,  D C Agada A.O reiterated the resolved of the Nigeria Customs Services Seme Command to block all areas of revenue leakages, adding that the command has both the human and material capital to man and control the border station of Nigeria and Benin Republic.

According to him, Seme border is a major hub in the trans West African regional trade route, adding that the command are charged with the responsibility of trade control through the following; suppression of smuggling, revenue, collection, trade facilitation without compromising of National Security, ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), Customs modernisation process and general security duties for overall interest of the country.

The command acting controller said N6.3 billion was collected in the 2011 fiscal year into various governmental account. The collected revenue, according to Deputy Controller Agada, represent Revenue from import duty, fees and other charges or levies collected on behalf of other government agencies.

According to him, the command exceed its 2011 revenue set target of N6 billion by N234,649,157.90.

He noted that during the period under review, a total of 2,805 trucks of ETLS compliant goods with a CIF value of N7,889,885,733.38 were cleared.

The command according to him, also lost a whooping sum of  N2,142,146,041.62 revenue to various concessions ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme grants approved by the Federal Government to various organisations operating in the country. While the sum of N72,156,556 was realised as 1 per cent CISS levy.

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Maritime

NPA Frowns Against Extortion Of Truck Drivers

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to sanction any staff that indulges in extortion of money from truck drivers at Apapa Port. 
The Acting Managing Director, NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, disclosed this shortly after a meeting with Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
Koko expressed optimism that the agency’s collaboration with the state government would bring an end to the perennial gridlock within and around the Apapa area.
The NPA boss emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws along the roads leading to Apapa and Tin Can ports, which are the two busiest ports in the country. 
He said NPA had been inundated with complaints of extortion from truckers, especially by security operatives, demanding money from drivers before accessing the ports.
 He described the practice as a major disincentive to the smooth implementation of the truck call-up system.
“One of the complaints of the truckers has to do with extortion by security operatives, the Army, the Police, the Nigerian Navy and even NPA security staff.
“This is one of the areas we require the intervention of government, because we have police officers deployed from the State Command who are allegedly involved in this. We at the NPA have resolved to take the right punitive measures against any of our staff involved in this.
“We have moved some of them out of port locations, and we will do further reviews. Whoever is found involved would be appropriately sanctioned”, he said. 
The NPA boss acknowledged that the Lagos State Government had been a close partner in terms of enforcement, but asked for more intervention to end the menace. 
“NPA has reached out to the Federal Ministry of Works, we have been speaking with the Director of Works in the State, and we have asked that they should provide some palliatives around Sunrise Bus-stop.
“We were made to understand that the contract for that section of the road has just been awarded, but because of the rains, work has been delayed”, he added.

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MWUN Tasks NIMASA, NIWA On Boat Drivers’ Training

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The Maritime and Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to train and retrain boat drivers in the country to reduce incessant accidents on our waterways.
MWUN said training and retraining of boat drivers would enhance their capability and efficiency in the industry and save lives.
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers State Chapter, Comrade Jonah Jumbo disclosed this during a telephone interview with The Tide.
Comrade Jumbo also advised NIMASA and NIWA to sanction any boat driver involved in over-speeding, overloading and reckless driving to reduce boat mishaps.
The chairman who regretted that most boat drivers lacked the skills and technical know-how to navigate the waters, said their human errors often caused accidents.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that regular training for boat drivers would enrich their skills and enable them to read the tide while on transit.
He frowned at the increasing rate of boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways and urged all stakeholders to check the trend. 
The MWUN boss called on the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police to arrest and prosecute any driver indulging in alcohol and overloading of passengers while on transit, adding that the act caused over seventy percent of water accident.
He appealed to drivers to desist from acts capable of causing accident, noting that many families have lost their loved ones through reckless driving and unholy acts caused by human errors on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Sokoto To Boost Water Transport With Motorised Boats

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The Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, says his administration will boost water transportation with motorised boats.
He also said his government would make life jackets available to all travellers and other water users to reduce boat mishap.
The governor stated this while commiserating with the people of Shagari Local Government Area that recently lost their loved ones in a boat mishap in the state. 
He regretted that the state had lost many lives to boat accidents and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and their families the fortitude to bear their loss.
Also speaking, Chairman, Shagari Local Government Council, Aliyu Dantine Shagari, said eight of the victims were married women while five were children and elderly men.
He attributed the cause of the boat mishap to overloading.
“But there are other causes of boat mishap including strong wind. We are still investigating the matter to know what actually led to the accident”, he said. 
The chairman advised boat drivers to desist from overloading and over speeding, noting that the community lost over six people in a similar accident last year.

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